“We’ve searched everywhere!” I cried desperately. “There’s no button, no lever, no nothing to get us out of here!”
I had started to grow anxious and the small confined space was closing in on me. In reality I knew it wasn’t that small but the smells were throwing memories of the caves back to me and I swear I was beginning to lose my mind. My eyes were darting around from corner to corner as I was stuck within my own crazed turmoil that I hadn’t noticed Helena run over to me and was holding my face between her hands.
“Blake you need to calm down!” She cooed calmly to me. Her voice was always calm and soothing and as I listened to her my breathing began to slow down. “Are you okay now?” she eyed me carefully.
I nodded and suddenly felt ashamed at my behaviour. “Yeah, sorry. The smells... it’s getting to me. It reminds me of the caves when Malum had us”
A shiver wracked her body while her face contorted into a worried expression. In the corner of my eyes I saw something move and I was quick to spin around pushing Helena behind me. The smells of mildew and dust were forgotten along with my anxiety to escape as I searched the deathly silent room for whatever had caught my eye.
“What’s wrong?” Helena whispered. I didn’t respond. For anything to be moving around in a dank and dirty hidden room couldn’t be good news. I continued to search and just as I was beginning to think I had imagined it, I saw it again in the darkest corner by the box television.
My eyes widened and, even though I knew it was useless, I shouted out as I threw icy, fiery flames at the corner. Icicles clung to every surface it touched, I’d had enough of this room to care about any damage I inflicted on it. The room was beginning to freeze as I followed its swift movements and in a matter of seconds icy blue flames danced on top of the sofa and television as well as the table.
I don’t know what the hell it was doing watching us, but I had had enough.
The Control and Mr Obsidian were facing the rest of us as Sicilianna’s pale blue eyes stared us down. I recalled once last year Derrek telling me that Fire-ableds had a tenancy to be controlled more by their emotions, and the emotion radiating out from Sicilianna was pure anger. It matched mine perfectly.
“Are you seriously blaming us for Blake going missing?” I cried in shock and anger. “No one had any idea that you were all coming down to take the Elementals away, how could we have had the chance to warn them, let alone hide one Elemental?!”
Faint orange and red flames danced along Sicilianna’s shoulders and she continued to glower at us, at me in particular. Tatiana placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and after a second her eyes cooled and the faint flames disappeared as she stepped back.
“Valerie is right Sicilianna” Tatiana pushed gently. “No one was to know of our surprise visit. However, seeing as the over ruling conclusion is that they are too dangerous, we must continue the search and bring them back to keep an eye on them”
Tatiana reminded me so much of Helena and how she had the strange ability to calm people down. Sicilianna looked visibly more relaxed and began to talk to the other leaders, however I was suddenly distracted by the frame of ice that was edging around the wall in a rectangular shape.
“Uhh...” I murmured in confusion. Derrek looked over to me before following my gaze. His eyes widened and soon the other Elementals were watching too. The ice continued to fill the rectangular shape and it began to look like a door.
The Control and Mr Obsidian continued to talk while the ice spread out behind them and down onto the ground. Marco stiffened and I knew he was finally sensing the water molecules of the ice. He glanced back and quickly did a double take before throwing an arm out and pushing the others back. “What in the world?” He murmured in confusion. I was thinking the exact same thing. He looked over to me, “You’re not doing that are you, Valerie?”
I shook my head but cocked my ear towards the wall with the ice on it. I could hear the faint sound of shouting and howling but it was too soft. It sounded as though it was muted somehow. I craned my neck to try to hear what it was or where it was coming from; from all I knew it could be coming from outside. Gabriel’s eyes narrowed in suspicion and he closed his eyes in concentration.
As he opened his eyes he pointed at the ice door, “There’s something behind the ice”
Sicilianna’s eyes darted to us before quickly landing on the ice again and no one spoke or moved as she held her hand with her palm facing up. A crimson ball of flames swirled calmly in her palm and quick as a comet she flicked it forward and spread her slender fingers wide causing the flames to split into several fireballs just before it hit the ice wall with a destructive force. The thick chunks of ice and brick flew down leaving a large gaping hole in the wall.
I would’ve been surprised that there was hidden room just inside the wall that looked completely normal, had it not been for the shadow bursting out like the hounds from hell gone wild and Blake firing icy flames at it. What happened next happened so quickly and yet slowly at the same time I wasn’t sure if time slowed down or my mind sped up. In the background I saw Helena on her knees, shivering from the cold of the ice in the room as she wrapped her arms around herself. Just like during Winter I knew she didn’t fair well with the cold and being in that ice box of a room would’ve affected her badly.
I ran forward the same time as Cara to help Helena and in the background I could hear Sicilianna shouting angrily, “It’s another Elemental! The ice fire Elemental and that... shadow... were attacking the Abled girl inside the room! Marco, keep those Elementals secured!”
Marco looked taken back but listened before he swiped his hand in a dome curve. The remaining Elementals –Cameron, Sophia, Bree and Blake – were trapped in an ice dome as the dean and The Control used their abilities to try to capture the shadow – Chimera and Evanesce. It howled and shrieked as it flew up and down then side to side, as though it was toying with them.
The Elementals looked outraged at being treated like wild animals and began to shout furiously. Cameron began to shoulder barge at the dome of ice but everytime a crack zigzagged through the barrier Marco would seal it with an even thicker wall of ice. Sophia had no room to transform into a big enough animal that would break the ice and looked around helpless and Bree’s wind could do nothing to help either. Blake was pounding his fists against the dome shouting in desperation at Helena who laid weak in my arms.
I had no idea when Derrek flew to my side but in a surprising act of care he began to usher Cara deeper inside the room. It didn’t hit me that he was trying to hide her from The Control. I was too distracted by the scene unravelling before me. The Elementals were trapped and the dean, along with The Control, were running down the hallway in attempt to capture the shadow.
I snapped out of my trance and looked down at Helena. “Derrek you need to warm her up! She’s grown too cold!” I whispered frantically. Derrek was already at work. Small dark blue flames flickered from his fingertips and palms as he held his hands just over Helena’s body in an attempt to warm her up. Her lips were a pale blue and her usual olive skin tone had paled.
I tried to help by rubbing my hands up and down her arms all the while feeling frantic at the cries and shouts coming from the Elementals. Helena began to come around and colour began to spread out across her body. It took a minute for Derrek for warm her up and just as though she snapped out of unconsciousness Helena’s eyes were fully alert and she jumped up from my arms.
“Helena! Thank God!” I heard Blake sigh in relief.
Helena looked confused, as she had every right to be, at the scene before her. A broken wall with a hidden room behind it with thick ice blocks shattered all over the ground, with four Elementals shouting from inside an ice dome. Cara, I noticed, was still hiding inside the room.
I sliced my hands across the air angrily and the dome of ice shattered into a million droplets of water before raining down on the heads of the people it had just trapped. Blake came hurtling towards Helena and grabbed her into a tight and intimate embrace while whispering his apologies.
I was nearly thrown to the side when Cameron ran past me into the hidden room to gather Cara up in his arms. It seemed like such a bittersweet moment knowing there were blooming and solid relationships around me while Derrek and I were standing awkwardly beside each other. I peered down the hallway, aware that there were no more sounds coming from the leaders and Mr Obsidian. The shadow must have flown very quickly and presented a big threat if The Control just ran off and left the Elementals here.
“What is this place?” I wondered out loud turning to walk inside the room.
“Blake and I think it was a hangout for the Stingers who used to study here...” Helena whispered. “Val... I think there’s something you should see here” I frowned as I noted the tone she used but followed her over to the frosted table where she picked up several books and handed them to me.
The notebooks were still slightly frosted on the front and back but the pages were untouched. I threw her a confused look but at the encouraging nod from her I opened it up and my eyes widened as I realised they were notebooks written for and by Stingers.
However, it wasn’t just the fact that the notebooks were written by a Stinger that had my eyes widening and filling with unshed tears. No, it was the fact that it was a notebook written by my dad from when he was studying that had me shocked and numb. I scrambled to look through the other books and noted they were mostly his.
“What is this?” I heard Derrek murmur. I turned around, blinking back the unshed tears and stuffing the notebooks into the inside of my light jacket. He was gazing at the wall with two maps and red pins all over it. “It looks like it’s pin pointing something... but I wonder what it means...”
“I think you should take it. Take anything that looks important or curious and we’ll need to go through them later. We need to do this quickly before The Control come back!” I whisper yelled at him.
The Elementals were gazing around the room as well, except for Blake who had pulled Helena back outside the room and were standing in the corridor. “Guys... I think The Control is coming back” Helena whispered.
“Quick, grab the map and hide it!” I hissed to him. He quickly burnt holes were the pins were before tearing it off the wall and stuffing it into his leather jacket. Just as he fixed his jacket Mr Obsidian was standing in the entrance of the room with a bleak expression haunting his face.
“Mr Obsidian, what’s going on? Where’s The Control?” I asked while walking towards him.
He sighed heavily and tried to smile but it didn’t reach his eyes. “The Control have taken the shadow as a bigger threat seeing as it refuses to stop and listen to their orders. It tried to attack Sicilianna and they have ordered for the Elementals not to leave the campus while they try to locate it. It could be days before they come back to take them away”
This was good news... in a way.
I peeked over at the Elementals and saw the relief that flooded their bodies. I don’t what we could do to stop The Control from taking them, especially now that the shadow has been found out and was first priority to capture. But we had to think of something...
“I need everyone to go back to their apartments please. Classes will remain the same, but no leaving the campus” Mr Obsidian looked tired, but his voice was stern as he spoke.
Everyone nodded and left the hidden room. Once the last person left Mr Obsidian turned to the gaping hole in the wall and held his hands towards the ground before slowly raising it up to the ceiling. The debris that was scattered all over the ground was all free from the ice and began to roll up cementing itself up on top of the other. In no time at all, the hole was fixed and the room was permanently shut off. I wasn’t sure how Blake and Helena were able to enter it, but I couldn’t help the small stab of pain knowing the room my father had studied in was now out of reach.
“Apartments, now please” The dean ordered us and watched quietly as we all turned to walk numbly to our apartments.
Everyone sat around the coffee table staring at the maps with small burnt holes pin pointing where the pins had been and it felt as though a tumbleweed would come rolling past anytime soon. What could they mean? Why was it in the Stinger’s ‘hangout’ room? I stared at my father’s notebooks in my hands and stroked my finger over the covers. Why, after a long absence, did the shadow return again?
There were so many questions bouncing around my head, and everyone else’s heads that it seemed as though no one wanted to voice them. It wouldn’t have been any use, no one knew the answers anyway. “There’s no use, is there?”
Cara’s small voice spoke up breaking the silence. Cameron hugged her closer to give her some strength, even if they all knew the answer was an inevitable ‘no’. If the mood wasn’t bleak before, it definitely was now. Tension was so taut in the air and the body language of the Elementals just reeked of vulnerability. I felt my heart break for them.
“Maybe we can hide them?” Helena suggested as her eyes darted to Blake who had been openly staring at her the entire time.
“There’s no point... They’ve got Gabriel with them. He’d find them in a matter of nanoseconds” Derrek replied as he stared intently at the maps.
I sighed. “Listen. You can all stay here or head back to your apartments but I need to lie down... Today’s just been a long day, mentally and physically” With a forced smile I stood up gathering up all my father’s notebooks and treaded to my bedroom.
My father’s notebooks spilt out of my arms and onto my bed sheets as I fell onto my bed. The springs gave way underneath my weight and bounced me a few times before coming to a standstill. So much had happened today... Too much. I tried to shut down my brain to give me some sort of reprieve from the painful buzzing in my head.
I looked down at the books and picked up the one with Stinger Tutorial scribbled across the front in oddly neat writing. As I brought it up a yellowing piece of paper fell from between the pages and I frowned before picking it up as well. I twirled it around between my fingers. On one side in neat cursive writing the name Brad Cascade was clearly written; it looked different from my father’s handwriting though. As curiosity got the better of me I carefully opened the paper and saw that it was a letter, I skimmed down to the bottom, not yet reading the letter, to see who it was from.
My hand flew to my mouth as a gasp tore its way up my throat. Not only had Helena found notebooks from my father, but a letter from my mother too.
Not much to say :S haha.
Dedicated to @VampireKing721 for loving that I leave cliff hangers :P